General News of 2013-12-04

I signed drill ship documents under bizarre circumstances – Chris Kpodo

The former Ghana High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Chris Kpodo has described as bizarre circumstances under which he was made to append his signature to documents selling off the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation’s drill ship in 2001 as a witness.

He told the Judgment Debt Commission Wednesday that he never had the opportunity to read through the document before signing.

Joy News’ Joseph Opoku Gakpo who was at the Commission’s sitting today reports that the transaction was concluded before he had a call from the then Attorney General to go and witness the deal.

He said he was indisposed at that material moment and delegated one of the staff at the Commission to represent him, but the official was not allowed to participate in the process. They demanded he was there in person, he explained, adding that he therefore left whatever he was doing to make himself available.

However, Mr Kpodo said when he got to the venue everything had been concluded so he just signed the documents without having the opportunity to peruse them. He described the circumstances leading to him appending his signature as “bizarre”.

He confirmed that he was handed a Barclays banker’s draft of 3.5 million US dollars by former deputy Energy Minister, K.T Hammond.

The Ambassador told the Commission Mr Hammond told him to hold on for a directive from the then Finance Minister.

He said when the order came through a telephone, he was asked to open a special coalition account at the Ghana International Bank plc, London, which he complied.